We all have part to play in improving quality of life

Long ago, I made the decision to become an organ donor. This is not so important for me, but for the life that I may help save after I’m gone.

I am happy to report that this issue is also a top priority at the highest levels of our state government.

At a recent speech before the Association for a Better New York, John Flanagan, the Majority Leader of the State Senate (pictured above) spoke passionately and eloquently about the importance of organ donation.

Sporting a green “Save A Life” wristband, Flanagan detailed not only how New Yorkers can become more involved in organ donation, but also why.

Organ donation takes healthy organs and tissues from one person for transplantation into another. Some organs that can be donated include: kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, lungs, and bone marrow. Organ donations usually occur for patients with kidney failure, heart, lung and liver diseases. Donor matches are made when both the donor and the recipient have the same blood type.

According to Flanagan, New York is 50th out of 50 states when it comes to organ donation, and there are approximately 10,000 people in the metropolitan area awaiting organ transplants.

New York City ranks 3rd in the country in people waiting for organ donations, and although 83 percent of New Yorkers support donation, only roughly 25 percent are registered.

With our city’s population of 8.4 million, there is tremendous room for improvement, and a more conscious effort on our part as New Yorkers would mean that many of those waiting for transplants would have a much better chance at receiving the care they need.

The importance of organ and tissue donation cannot be overstated. Just one donation can save the lives of up to 10 people and significantly improve the lives of more.

There are always people all over the world waiting for transplants, and the fastest way to get them what they need is through proactive action.

According to published reports, the impact of one organ donation will soon increase exponentially, with emerging technologies in the fields of medical science, such as 3D printing, making it possible to recreate entire organs using existing samples.

However, the process will still need to start with our role as donors, making donation even more vital in the future, which is why awareness is more important now than ever.

This column generally covers real estate issues and the various ways our industry makes a positive impact on the lives of others. Organ donation is perhaps one of the most direct and significant ways in which we can not only improve the quality of life for others, but also directly save lives.

As an organ donor, I am proud to say that I have made this commitment, and I am proud to join State Senate Majority Leader Flanagan to strongly encourage everyone to do the same.

Learn how you can become an organ donor by calling the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry at 1-866-NYDONOR.